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The English Constitution

By Bagehot, Walter

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Book Id: WPLBN0000661397
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 550.79 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2005
Full Text

Title: The English Constitution  
Author: Bagehot, Walter
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Political science., Economics and literature, Economic & political studies series
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: Archive for the History of Economic Thought

Citation

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Bagehot, W. (n.d.). The English Constitution. Retrieved from http://hawaiilibrary.net/


Description
Economic Theory Literature

Excerpt
Excerpt: Introduction to the Second Edition. There is a great difficulty in the way of a writer who attempts to sketch a living Constitution, ? a Constitution that is in actual work and power. The difficulty is that the object is in constant change. An historical writer does not feel this difficulty: he deals only with the past; he can say definitely, the Constitution worked in such and such a manner in the year at which he begins, and in a manner in such and such respects different in the year at which he ends; he begins with a definite point of time and ends with one also. But a contemporary writer who tries to paint what is before him is puzzled and perplexed; what he sees is changing daily. He must paint it as it stood at some one time, or else he will be putting side by side in his representations things which never were contemporaneous in reality. The difficulty is the greater because a writer who deals with a living government naturally compares it with the most important other living governments, and these are changing too; what he illustrates are altered in one way, and his sources of illustration are altered probably in a different way. This difficulty has been constantly in my way in preparing a second edition of this book. It describes the English Constitution as it stood in the years 1865 and 1866. Roughly speaking, it describes its working as it was in the time of Lord Palmerston; and since that time there have been many changes, some of spirit and some of detail. In so short a period there have rarely been more changes. If I had given a sketch of the Palmerston time as a sketch of the present time, it would have been in many points untrue; and if I had tried to change the sketch of seven years since into a sketch of the present time, I should probably have blurred the picture and have given something equally unlike both.

Table of Contents
Contents Introduction to the Second Edition. .............................5 I. The Cabinet. ..........................................................42 II. The Monarchy. .....................................................61 III. The House of Lords.............................................93 IV. The House of Commons. ................................... 117 V. On Changes of Ministry. .....................................145 VI. Its Supposed Checks and Balances. ..................170 VII. The Prerequisites of Cabinet Government, and the Peculiar Form Which They Have Assumed in England. .................................................................191 VIII. Its History, and the Effects of That History. ? Conclusion. ........................................................201 Notes .......................................................................213

 

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